EUFIC presents TrustTracker® results at the 20th Spanish Food Safety & Quality Conference

Last Updated : 06 March 2023
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    Dr Laura Fernández Celemín, Director General at EUFIC speaking at the 20th Spanish Food Safety & Quality Conference

    Consumer trust is crucial in advancing the EU towards a healthier, more resilient, equitable, and more sustainable food system. In this context, Dr Laura Fernandez, Director General of EUFIC, presented the TrustTracker® at the 20th Spanish Food Safety & Quality conference, organised by AECOC, the association of manufacturers and distributors, on February 28, 2023, in Madrid. The conference, opened by Rafael Escudero, General Secretary of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, featured speakers from food manufacturers and distributors, consumer organisations, national food safety authorities and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).  

    The EIT Food funded TrustTracker® is an evidence-based tool to measure consumers' trust in the food value chain and its different actors – from farm to fork to policy. It helps understand the gap between consumers' wants and needs and what food system actors provide. 

    Discussing TrustTracker® results and EUFIC studies on effective communication   

    Dr Laura Fernandez presented the latest data of the TrustTracker® from 2022, covering 18 European countries, showing that European citizens trust farmers the most, followed by retailers, while they have the least trust in authorities. The data also suggests that consumer confidence in the food supply chain has been increasing, with Finland and Spain showing the highest levels of trust. 

    TrustTracker project image on how in 2022, beliefs about trustworthiness are highest for farmers, followed by retailers.

    During the conference, she also emphasised that the direct consequence of high consumer trust in the food system is a greater acceptance of innovation that can advance the EU towards a food system that benefits everyone. 

    "A majority of European consumers trust their food is safe”, explained Dr Laura Fernandez, “This is  crucial, for example, in times of crisis. People are more likely to follow health recommendations and preserve their health when they trust those providing the advice"  

    More about TrustTracker®  

    Low confidence in the food we buy and consume can influence our ability or motivation to make more sustainable and healthy choices. TrustTracker® aims to measure consumers' trust in different actors in the food chain, track changes in confidence over time and across European countries, and identify associated barriers and significant challenges to trust.

    Starting with the five major European countries (DE, ES, FR, PL, and UK) in 2018, data was collected from 13 EU countries (BE, CH, DE, DK, ES, FR, FI, IE, IL, IT, NL, PL, UK) in 2019. In 2020, a total of 18 countries were surveyed (BE, CH, CZ, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GR, IE, IL, IT, NL, PL, PT, RO, TR, UK), covering more EU regions. Finally, the same 18 countries were surveyed in 2021 and 2022.  

    With its comprehensive annual questionnaire and data analysis, TrustTracker® offers valuable insights for stakeholders and policymakers to understand and address the associated barriers and challenges to trust. The model suggests that trust influences the relationship between consumer motivations, such as leading a healthy or sustainable lifestyle, and their intentions and behaviour.  

    The data collected from the survey provides valuable information to identify patterns and trends that can inform policies and programs aimed at promoting healthier and more sustainable diets across the EU. Ultimately, having consumers trust their food is essential to achieve a sustainable, resilient, equitable, and healthy food system. 

    Find more information on the results of TrustTracker® here.